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Improved Hand-Held Infant Seat Carriers Are Focus of Standard

Stringent testing of hand-held infant carriers by numerous manufacturers and organizations has resulted in the development of ASTM F 2050, Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Hand-Held Infant Carriers. Approved July 10, it is the first voluntary consensus performance specification for this product.

“This will provide uniformity in the testing of these products,” said Robert Waller, Jr., executive vice president, Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a trade group representing over 400 manufacturers.

F 2050 focuses on the release of carrier handles, the main problem users experience. Handles often slip, causing the carrier to tip forward. Children are often improperly secured and fall out. “There have been recalls of infant carriers where, in some incidents, the handles released during use, so there was a real interest in developing a performance standard to address the issue,” Waller said.

The second largest problem reported was that carrier safety straps were not secured properly or used at all. Manufacturers’ warning statements and product literature continue to address this problem; F 2050 follows suit with a restraint system test and detailed guidance on labeling.

The new specification was developed by a task group of ASTM Subcommittee F15.21 on Hand-Held Infant Carriers and Swings that included Waller and nearly 40 representatives of independent testing laboratories, consumers, government agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Consumer Products Safety Commission, and several consumer advocacy organizations including the Danny Foundation and Consumer Federation of America.

Operating under the by-laws of ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products, the task group applied tests of force, weight, and cycling to carrier handles that resulted in manufacturers requirements in the specification that can lead to less malfunction with normal use over the life of the product.

For further technical information, contact Robert Waller, Jr., Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, 236 Rt. 38 W., #100, Moorestown, NJ 08057 (856/231-8500; fax: 856/231-4644). Subcommittee F15.21 meets at ASTM Headquarters in West Conshohocken Oct. 10-13 during the meetings of the F15 Juvenile Products Subcommittees. For meeting or membership details, contact Director Kathie Morgan, ASTM (610/832-9721). //

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